Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc met with Mr. Yamada Junichi, Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at the Ministry of Finance headquarters, on the afternoon of 2 August. They discussed the implementation plan for three loan agreements signed with JICA in early July 2023 and new mechanisms introduced by JICA. In attendance at the meeting were Mr. Yamada Takio, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Vietnam, along with representatives from specialized units under the JICA Office in Vietnam and the Ministry of Finance.
Minister Ho Duc Phoc spoke at the meeting
Mr. Yamada Junichi and his delegation were warmly welcomed by Minister Ho Duc Phoc to the Ministry of Finance. The minister emphasized the significant role that JICA plays as a financial partner of the Vietnamese Government, particularly the Ministry of Finance. JICA, representing the Japanese Government, has given multiple loans to Vietnam over the years. Through the provision of loans and technical support, significant improvements have been made to Vietnam's infrastructure and social security programs and projects. Mr. Yamada congratulated the Ministry of Finance and JICA for the 61 billion JPY agreement for 3 projects including General Budget for Supporting Program Development for Post-Socio-Economic Recovery and Development; Public Infrastructure Improvement Project in Duoro Province; and Agricultural Development Infrastructure Improvement Project in Pahang Province, Phase One. The Japanese Government and JICA anticipate that Vietnam will complete the necessary procedures to promptly disburse these loans. The JICA representative discussed new ODA programs, including the emergency standby credit program, two-step loans, and credit program for disaster recovery. Mr. Yamada Junichi expressed interest in extending loans to Vietnam and recommended that the Ministry of Finance monitor these programs for favorable loans from Japan.
Mr. Yamada Junichi, Vice President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
The progress of three loan agreements has been updated by Minister Ho Duc Phuc. The Ministry of Finance is finalizing the required procedures and documentation for Congress approval. The bank will disburse funds in two phases, with the first phase in September 2023 and the second phase in December 2023. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance is working on completing procedures for two projects in Binh Duong and Lam Dong to ensure their prompt implementation.
The Minister shared updates on Vietnam's public debt situation. The National Assembly had initially set a target of 60% of GDP for public debt, but currently, it only accounts for 38% of GDP, leaving room for loans to attract Vietnam's ODA capital. The Minister expressed appreciation for the Japanese Government and JICA's initiative on new-generation ODA loans and promised support for learning about the procedures, order, interest rates, and attached conditions of these programs.
Representatives of both sides at the meeting
The Minister expressed his hopes that the Japanese Government and JICA will continue to support Vietnam in the future, as Vietnam plans to undertake numerous large projects. Currently, the Japanese ODA loan remains one of the largest sources of credit for Vietnam.
During the meeting, representatives from both sides shared and exchanged information regarding several topics. These included corporate income tax exemption for enterprises participating in non-refundable aid projects, extension procedures for loans, payments to project construction contractors, issues with the implementation of the Ben Luc - Long Thanh expressway project, and the use of Japanese ODA loans to support the development of human resources, equipment, and means in the customs field,etc.
HP (Translators: HN)